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WEA members rally for revenue for K-12 schools, higher ed, social services

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More than 125 WEA members showed up in Olympia Wednesday in support of new revenue to fund public schools, higher ed and social and health services.

Rob Lutz
Evergreen EA President Rob Lutz and more than 125 other WEA members rallied in Olympia Wednesday.

They rallied with allies at the capitol and then attended a state Senate hearing on revenue legislation. Nearly 10 WEA members testified in support of Senate Bill 5929, and the rest signed in as supporting the bill.

“Washington’s tax code hurts our students in two ways: It is unfair to the families of the students who need the most support, and it doesn’t generate enough revenue to fully fund basic education and other critical needs,” said Ray Nelson, a North Thurston middle school science teacher who testified.

“And as an educator, I see the challenges that many of our students and their families face every day. Senate Bill 5929 makes more state resources available to fund our schools and does so in a way that makes our tax code more fair to low-income families and small businesses.

“We need more funds to do the job we are trying to do in our classrooms.”

WEA members traveled from as far away as Cheney, Mount Baker, Port Angeles and Vancouver.

SB 5929 is sponsored by Republican Sen. Dino Rossi, who actually opposes the bill and introduced the bill as a political stunt.

Rossi and Oban
Sen. Dino Rossi (right) sponsored a revenue bill he doesn't support.

Rossi is the state senator who wrote the budget that suspended voter-approved educator COLAs back in 2003, a move that cost WEA members millions in lost salary. He later lost two elections for governor and one for US senator. He helped write the state budget Senate Republicans passed in March – a reckless budget WEA members staunchly oppose.

At the start of the hearing, Rossi admitted he opposed SB 5929 – a move several observers called “political theater.”

Take action in support of the Democratic House budget and new revenue.

Watch the TVW video of the SB 5929 hearing and WEA members who testified.

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